Guns, Culture and Moors
- Wednesday 2 November 2016
2311 GJ Leiden
Racial stereotypes and the cultural impact of the Moroccan participation in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), more than 80,000 Moroccan soldiers fought in Spain, on behalf of the Nationalists led by General Franco, against the Spanish Republic. The Moroccans played a significant role in Franco’s eventual victory.
The presence of tens of thousands of Moroccan soldiers in Spain during the Civil War meant an encounter between two culturally and ethnically different peoples, and both the Moroccans and the Spaniards attempted to take control of the situation. The thesis aims to explain to
what extent the Moroccan soldiers were able to take control of this encounter which was influenced by the perception of otherness the Spaniards had of the Moroccans.
Despite the cultural barriers between the Spaniards and Moroccans, the prolonged presence of Moroccans in Spain allowed many, on both sides, to overcome those barriers. For example, Moroccans and Spaniards had romantic relationships despite the policy that tried to prevent this. Moreover, some Moroccans converted to Christianity despite efforts to keep the Moroccans and the Catholic Church separated. Yet, the cultural separation between the two peoples was, in broad terms, maintained through the work of the Spanish Nationalist state and army, Moroccan officials and the Moroccan soldiers themselves. This is why the Moroccans had their own units, distinctive uniforms and emblems, hospitals, cemeteries, cafés, musicians, and even
The thesis uses new archival material and interviews with Moroccan veterans to give the voice of the Moroccans a central place in examining their role in the Spanish
- Prof. H. te Velde
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Inès van Arkel, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
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